Kids projects: Make rookie cards for your team on your iPhone or iPad

While school might take a break for the summer, sports do anything but. From little league to soccer practice, gymnastics to judo, tennis to skating — we have indoor rinks! — there are all sorts of sports, team and solo, for kids to have fun with, get healthy doing, and learn valuable skills from. And what better way to keep hold of those memories and share them with teammates and classmates alike than with rookie cards of their very own? If you're looking for a great summer project for the kids — or the kids of all ages, adult-leaguers — then get your iPhone and iPad ready. Here come the cards!


We're using an iPhone app called Rookies to make our cards. It's free and you can share the cards you make electronically for free as well. If you want to order the proper wax-paper wrapped, printed cards, however, there's a fee associated with that. Whichever way you decide to go, get started by downloading Rookies.

Take your photos

How to successfully capture serendipitous photos of your kids with your iPhone

The first thing to do is take photos of your kids doing their sports. They can be action shots with the kids darting across the field, flipping through the air, spinning across the rink, swinging at the ball — whatever it is they do! They can also be posed shots with a ball or a glove, a racket or a pair of skates, a gi or a stick.

Check out your or your kids' favorite pro athlete pictures for ideas. And then shoot a lot. The more the better.

For the action shots, here's how to get the best pictures possible:

  • How to make sure you capture unexpected photos of your kids with your iPhone

For the posed shots:

Set up your cards

Once you have your photos, launch Rookies. First, choose your template. There are a lot of different varieties, so you should be able to find one that suits your sport, team, and mood.

The next step is to choose your photos and edit the text to include any team names, but most importantly your kids' names and positions, and other custom information. You can even customize colors so everyone looks distinct. You can also customize the back of the cards.

You can make as many as you want, to include different sports, different children or groups, different action shots, different poses, etc.

Share and print!

Once you're done, you have two options to consider. If you don't want to spend any money and order the cards themselves, you can share them to your social networks like Facebook or Twitter, or directly via Messages or Mail. You can also save it to your Photos app to either share later, show off in person, or print out on your own.

If you want the full treatment, however, if you want your cards printed out like real cards, wrapped in wax paper, you can order them right from the app. They come in packages of 20 and even though they don't include the dry, stale pink gum sticks of the old days, if you remember them, you'll swear you can smell it.

Bottom line

Everyone likes to feel special. Seeing yourself in action, seeing your name in print, seeing your pose or your team on a real rookie card is a great, fun way to feel special. It makes a perfect birthday treat, party favor, last-game loot-bag, or fun summer project for the whole family or league. And best of all, with Rookies on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, it's not only fun — it's easy!

Thanks to Andy Ihnatko for the Rookies recommendation!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.